From plot debriefs to key motifs, Thug Notes’ American Psycho Summary & Analysis has you covered with themes, symbols, important quotes, and more.
American Psycho (1991) | Written by: Bret Easton Ellis
Thug Notes Summary & Analysis
What it do y’all? This week we gettin’ whacked out in da head with American Psycho by Brett Easton Ellis.Patrick Bateman is da shallowest douchebag you eva’ seen. He an investment banker up at swank firm in Manhattan during the 80s, so you know he sittin’PHAT- but that SHOAS HELL don’t mean he work hard. Matta’ fact, all Patrick do is get his grub on at classy joints, yap about bullshit, work out, get TURNT up at clubs, and worry bout how pretty he look.
When he not duckin’ his girl Evelyn’s calls, hollerin’ at other ladies, and gettin buck wild with em, Patrick all about his other hobby… MURDERIN’ PEOPLE. Don’t matter who it is or what they do, Patrick gonna GHOST em. And when he do, it’s like he ain’t even tryna’hide it. Fool carry a body in a sleeping bag round town and bring blood stained sheets to the laundromat like it ain’t no thang-or what I call crimin’ while white…
One day, Patrick chillin’ with his work homies-includin a gay dude named Luis who want Patrick’s nuts BAD- when he run in to Paul Owen, another investment banker who Patrick is straight OBSESSED wit’.
Dis cat got da looks, daswagga’and manage daswolest account in town- da Fisher account. Paul see Patrick and be like “oh what’s good Marcus Halberstam?” Patrick just go with it… but who da hell is Marcus?
As the book go on, Patrick’s mind be slippin’mo’ and mo’. Like when he at da video store, he start sweatin’ balls and runnin’ his mouth bout how much he love seein a woman gettin drilled to death in his favorite flick. Fool straight tweakin!
Later, Patrick decide he gonna put dat boy Luis in the dirt. So he roll up on him while he pissin’, but right befo’ he do, Luis break down and say “I LOVE you baby!” When Luis try to get his mack on again, Pat like “Yo I don’t usually give people no warnigs, but hop off or I will END yo ass!”
Patrick get so bored with his yuppy lifestyle of stacking cheddar, doin’ lines, and bangin’ biddies dat he jus’ go on killin’homiesleft n’ right: kids, Evelyn’s neighbor, a homeless dude, an old dude, dogs, hos, his college sweetheart- brutha even put an axe through Paul Owen’s dome. DAMN
One night he decide to throw game at his secretary, Jean. This girl been wantin’ the D as bad as Luis, so she THRILLED.
At da end of da night, she invite him up to her spot, but he like “Nah girl. I gotta return some videotapes.” She give him a lil’sugar anyway, and Patrick start feein legit warmth towards her.
A detective drop by Patrick’s office to ask him about Paul Owen’s disappearance, but Patrick shake dat load off and dude don’t suspect nuthin’.
Then shit just gets out of hand: he kills a little boy, mo’hos, does some REDONKULOUS stuff with a rat, and even tricks Evelyn into eatin’a urinal cake with chocolate on it so dat it look like some fancy Godiva shit! But watchin her eat it don’t feel like he thought it would, he breaks it off right there.
Afta’dat, he goes HYPHY in this bitch. Fool merc a buncha cops and even blow up a damn cop car. Afta’dodgin the law, Patrick roll up to his office, break down, and leave a message fo’ his lawyer fessin’ up to all his whack-ass deeds. Thangis, nothing ever happen after he confess.
So he drop in at Paul Owen’s digs thinkin he gonna find all the dead bodies he stashed there, but all he find is a clean-ass apartment, nice flowers, and a real estate agent who kick his ass out.
At dinner, Jean tell Patrick how much she love him, and he thinkin’he should accept her love and start feelin’ like anything is possible.
Later, he run in to his lawyer and ask him bout datvoicemailconfession but da Lawyer like “David! yodat shit was hilarious!” Patrick like “David? What? NO. I FO’ REAL’ killed Paul Owen!” “Psh. You couldn’t have killed Paul Owen. I saw him in London twice 10 days ago. And Bateman? Man. That dude is such a lil bitch he couldn’t murder nobody.”
Not knowin what da hell is goin on, Patrick jumps in a cab, but gets jacked by the driver, who recognize him as the dude who murdered his homeboy. In the end, Patrick jus’ chillin wit his boys in an uptown joint yappin’ bout bullshit and nuthin has changed. He say dateverything he’s done is what being Patrick means to him. And… that’s it.
When it come to this crazy ass book you either think Ellis’s writing game is on point or it’s busted as hell. Some scholars say it’s a postmodern classic, others say it’s a buncha violent, sexist bullshit. What do your boy Sparky think? We’ll get to that later.
But first, we gotta cover a couple things. Fo’ one, dat fool Batemanis an unreliable narrator. I mean some of da shit that supposedly “happen” in this book is just straight stoopid. How we supposed to believe this dude just roll around town holdin’ bloody sheets without turnin no heads? And when he go HAM on dapo-lice at da end? Who dis cat think he is? Denzel Washington? . One second it’s an all-out man-hunt in da streets, and da next he chillin in his office and errything seem all good.
Is this cat tryna’ bullshit dareader? And check this- somethin’ real crazy happens in da narrative when it switch from first person to third person in the middle of the damn sentence.
So is Pat just showin us the action movie version of his fucked up fantasy? Or maybe none of it actually went down. Maybe all dis mess just proof dat Patrick losinhis damn mind and ain’t got no grasp of what’s real and what ain’t.
Or maybe it all DID happen, and just nobody trippin on it. All throughout this text we see BatemanTRY to get people to see him as the whack-job he is, but nobody eva’do.
We live in a society where crazy ass violence go down on the REG, and cuz o dat, people don’t even blink when they see messed-up shit right in front of em!
What they sho as hell DO notice, tho, is their SHIT.
When Bateman ain’t busy slicin’people to bits o’ whateva, he spend PAGES runnin’ his mouth bout his expensive swag- stereo equipment, threadz, restaurants, bedsheets, business cards, where people get their haircuts, I could go on playa. People always goin off bout how Americans just stuck in an endless cycle of consuming a bunchameaningless bullshit. Da most fucked up thing ain’t dat Patrick reppin that to a T, but dat he do the same thing with PEOPLE. Shit he even STRAIGHT UP EATS some girl. UGHHH! It’s like Patrick cain’teven tell the difference between human beings and objects.
Hell, there ain’t no difference between people neither. Patrick always gettin’ called different names throughout the book and when it happen, he just like “whatever, it don’t even matter.” When yo swag and yo status is all you are, then you can’t really be a legit individual, ya feel me?
So look- this book got some pretty raw things to say about our society- and even though I dig the message, it ain’t my kinda thing. To be real wit you- this book is just fucking BORING. The characters are paper THIN, and most of the book is just a buncha rambling bullshit. Yeah, I get it. The book doing that on purpose to throw shade at a society that’s just as shallow as the book itself. But to this thug, you gotta captivate yo audience befo’ you can start preachin’ to ‘em.
Ellis himself say it best:
But hey, if this is yo thang- cool. Different strokes for different folks. Thanks for kickin it with me today, y’all. Peace.